Trade Union and Contractor Donate to Unit 4 High Schools

Tue, 11/12/2019 - 7:26pm

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Champaign’s Centennial and Central High Schools each received a $12,000 donation from the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 149 and A&R Mechanical Contractors to assist their Career and Trade Education programs.  Representatives presented checks at the Nov. 12 Unit 4 Board of Education meeting. Donations will assist the construction of new welding rooms at each high school.

The donations continue a longstanding partnership between the District and trade unions. For the past five years, local trade unions have partnered with Unit 4 trades programs to offer education, training, and mentorship. The program helps expand skilled trades and industrial tech programs to a diverse group of students.

The U.A. Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 149 have been one of the leading supporters of the program. For the past three years, Unit 4 summer trades students have built sheds for use in the district. This summer, students constructed a storage shed placed at Kenwood Elementary for use by Central High School’s football team at its practice field.

“It is our goal as skilled union professionals to encourage and educate the future workforce of the great career that awaits them,” said Local 149 Business Manager Matt Kelly. “Through our partnership with Unit 4 and local contractors, like A&R Mechanical, we know we can build a brighter future together with these students.”

A&R Mechanical Contractors, Inc., a Champaign/Urbana-based business, is Local 149’s largest contractor with a longstanding history in the community. The two combined to share costs, ensuring that welding rooms materialized at the two schools. In an evolving industry, this collective effort to bring traditional shop classes back to high schools is appreciated by students and educators alike.

“We’re so glad to be able to support programs like this within our community and our trade partners at Local 149,” said A&R President Bill Walter. “Skilled trade professionals are the backbone of any community, A&R is proud to invest in the future of our industry.”

A&R Mechanical Contractors extends their contribution to this important program with the use of their plumbing, piping, ventilation, and civil site utility services in the construction of these classrooms.